People

On the Side: Stephen Incavo, M.D.


Shoots
By Shanley Pierce | November 1, 2017

NAME: Stephen Incavo, M.D.
OCCUPATION: Orthopedic surgeon and section chief of adult reconstructive surgery at Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine
INTEREST: Clarinet

When Stephen Incavo, M.D., isn’t performing joint reconstructions or hip and knee replacement surgeries, he can be found practicing one of Carl Maria von Weber’s concertos on his clarinet. For Incavo, music is a release from the stress of his job.

“I’m a very intense guy when it comes to surgery,” Incavo said. “Surgery is a big deal and I want to make sure it’s a big deal. I don’t like to minimize it by saying, ‘This is an easy case.’”

The Rochester, New York, native first picked up the clarinet in fourth grade, when his teachers introduced students to music classes. Never one to shy away from a challenge—even at a young age—Incavo quickly became enthralled by the discipline and hard work that was required to hone his musical talent.

“Some kids don’t like practicing, but I always did,” he said. “Improving, learning new things and hearing the sound, I always liked that.”

Incavo continued to practice the clarinet throughout his childhood. He joined his college’s orchestra as principal clarinetist and often performed in jazz groups and dance bands in medical school to earn a little extra money on the side.

However, as his medical career became increasingly more demanding, it became difficult for him to find time to practice the clarinet. But his passion for music did not die.

“If there’s music in the background playing somewhere, I’m usually listening to that more than the conversation around me,” Incavo said. “It just grabs me.”

Incavo reconnected with his love for music in 2011 when the Texas Medical Center Orchestra held open auditions. He dusted off his clarinet and began taking lessons again. Since then, he has played in several performances around the Houston area, including the Margaret Alkek Williams Crain Garden Performance Series at Houston Methodist and recitals at the University of St. Thomas.

He spends at least an hour each day practicing clarinet. While it’s important to master the musical pieces, Incavo said, it’s equally important to continue to master the basics. For woodwind or brass instrument players, the most important basic technique to practice is long tones, a breathing exercise in which a note is played and sustained for an extended period of time, slowly transitioning to a higher or lower note or scale. The goal is to maintain mellifluous and controlled sound on the instrument in a single breath.

“Practice can be kind of boring,” Incavo said, “but it’s what you need to do to keep up.”

In 2015, Incavo released his first CD, The Colorful Clarinet, a compilation of three solo clarinet pieces and a duet. The album opens with Incavo’s personal favorite, “Fantasia da Concerto on Verdi’s ‘Rigoletto,’” one of 19th-century Italian composer Luigi Bassi’s 15 operatic fantasies. Bassi composed the piece with fast notes specifically to demonstrate a clarinetist’s virtuosity and technical abilities, a trend that was popular in his day.

“It’s a really hard piece, a very technical piece,” Incavo said. “I figured I wasn’t going to get it any better than that, so I decided to record it.”

Incavo released his second CD, The Colorful Clarinet Duets, earlier this year, and he is currently working on a third CD featuring a string quartet. He is also preparing for upcoming appearances in Houston. He will be part of a Johannes Brahms quintet that will perform in Crain Garden in December.




Social Posts

profile_image

Veterans Affairs

@DeptVetAffairs

Today's #VeteranOfTheDay is Marine Corps Veteran Dwright Fowler Davis, who is an advocate and entrepreneur. He served from 1998 to 2002: https://t.co/6tIlvbnFwb

20 mins ago
profile_image

UTHealth

@UTHealth

RT @bryanacotton1: Congratulations to our incoming #BigT #NoSONOS Trauma/SCC fellows to the Red Duke Trauma Institute @UTHealthACS @UTHealt…

40 mins ago
profile_image

UTHealth

@UTHealth

RT @UTHealth_SBMI: Grahame Grieve Named 2019 Glaser Award Recipient speaks about: "How we are at an exciting time in medicine, such as: Sci…

41 mins ago
profile_image

UTHealth

@UTHealth

RT @UTHealth_SBMI: Our special guests, faculty members and students join Dr. Susan Fenton as she speaks about some special informatics cour…

41 mins ago
profile_image

Texas Children's

@TexasChildrens

.@TexasChildrens Specialty Care Upper Kirby offers orthopedic care on Saturday mornings! The clinic will be open from 8 a.m. to noon to treat routine and urgent cases. Learn more: https://t.co/6J2vIai2Xb https://t.co/OKtasyK6oX

47 mins ago
profile_image

BCMHouston

@bcmhouston

RT @BCMHouston_News: #Harvey didn't just cause devastating flooding for #Houston, a new study lead by @bcmhouston's Dr. Kjersti Aagaard fou…

48 mins ago
profile_image

BCMHouston

@bcmhouston

Dr. Michelle Ludwig tackles the issue of the attrition of women in medicine in the latest @BCMEthics PolicyWise post. https://t.co/5uIg3M25oV #WomenInMedicine #ethics

50 mins ago
profile_image

BCMHouston

@bcmhouston

RT @TCHResearchNews: .@LabShulman @TexasChildrens, @bcmhouston @bcm_neurosci weighs in on new evidence that points to a problem in waste cl…

55 mins ago
profile_image

MD Anderson Cancer Center

@MDAndersonNews

“By women getting #mammograms from ages 40 to 74, they’re less likely to die from #breastcancer,” says our Dr. Therese Bevers: https://t.co/BNYEHFOitr @Forbes #endcancer

59 mins ago
profile_image

Harris Health System

@harrishealth

Today, October 18, is #NationalMammographyDay, remember to get screened! https://t.co/DVCYXYvD19

1 hour ago
profile_image

TexasHeartInstitute

@Texas_Heart

Get smart with Project Heart, a fun, heart healthy resource for K-6 teachers and students that includes elementary lesson plans, teacher worksheets and educational games. https://t.co/t1nosOoERw

2 hours ago
profile_image

University of Houston

@UHouston

RT @UHoustonLib: Go, 'Stros! #TakeItBackFrom the archives: this commemorative certificate was given out at the Astros vs. Yankees exhibi…

2 hours ago
profile_image

University of Houston

@UHouston

Rollin' into #CougarREDFriday with my red shirt and @astros hat like...#TakeItBack https://t.co/c0xtjyNg0w

2 hours ago
profile_image

MD Anderson Cancer Center

@MDAndersonNews

@nowell_erica Sending good vibes your way, Erica.

2 hours ago
profile_image

Veterans Affairs

@DeptVetAffairs

VA Office of Rural Health expands research efforts https://t.co/Halm4BugRr via #VAntagePoint

2 hours ago